Prescribing Dental Radiographs for Infants, Children, Adolescents, and Individuals with Special Health Care Needs
This best practice provides guidance on the proper timing, selection, and frequency of dental radiographs for pediatric dental patients and endorses the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and American Dental Association’s Recommendations for Prescribing Dental Radiographs. Recommendations were made according to type of patient encounter and the patient’s age and stage of dental development. Considerations included clinical findings, medical and dental histories, and risk factors for dental caries. This document highlights the purpose of radiographs for diagnosing oral diseases and trauma, monitoring growth and development, and assessing treatment outcomes. Emphasis is placed on the importance of minimizing radiation in the pediatric population, and intraoral radiographs are confirmed as the standard diagnostic radiographic tool. Special attention is paid to justification for use of cone beam computed tomography, related safety concerns, and need for comprehensive interpretation of resulting images. Dental providers may reference this document to guide decisions regarding the type and periodicity of dental radiographs, with aims to improve patient care, limit radiation exposure, and utilize resources appropriately.
This best practice was developed through a collaborative effort of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Councils on Clinical Affairs and Scientific Affairs to offer updated information and recommendations regarding prescribing radiographs for pediatric dental patients.
KEYWORDS: ADOLESCENT, CHILD, CONE BEAM COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY, GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT, RADIATION, RADIOGRAPHY, RISK ASSESSMENT, THYROID GLAND